Disaster Planning in the Cloud: Data at Your Fingertips

September 6 2017, by Pierre Lintzer | Category: Cloud Services


Disaster Recovery Testing - Macquarie Cloud Services


Backups are not the same thing as a disaster recovery plan.

It’s not intuitive. It seems like if you have a copy of the data saved somewhere you should be good.

The hitch is that just because you have the data doesn’t mean you can use it immediately.

Backups are slow. It can take days, weeks, or even months to restore data. Can you go without your data for months? And in the worst-case scenario, your backup and backup restore fails. Tape backups are especially notorious for this. The worst time to find that your backup has failed is when a disaster happens. Few companies have backups for their backups.

That’s a frustrating position to be in, too.

Your data is right there locked away on these tapes, but you can’t get to it. Your IT team is working away restoring the whole system. You’re losing customer trust, haemorrhaging money in lost sales and productivity.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be like this. 

Disaster recovery (DR) is a game changer. Disaster recovery is everything you ever wanted in a tape backup without the cons.

A disaster recovery plan is not only how you save your data, but how you will restore it. Immediately. A disaster recovery plan ensures you can access your data when you need it.

The cloud makes it all possible.

Disaster recovery has undergone a revolution with the cloud. No longer does disaster recovery require you to rent a separate data centre far away. No longer do you need to hire extra hardware and IT staff to man the place. No longer do you have to make copies of your data on tapes and physically move it to another location.

With disaster recovery as a service, your third-party provider handles all the dirty work. They will maintain geographically distant data centres with the latest technology. They will ensure that your data is seamlessly replicated to the cloud as it’s created. And most importantly, they will ensure that you’re ready to failover to the cloud at the slightest hint of danger.

Disasters are equal opportunists.

You might find yourself saying, “That sounds great, but DR is too expensive for us right now.” I ask you to consider these statistics:

  • Chances are, your disaster will not come in the form of Mother Nature. Power loss tops the charts of most common outages. Human error comes in a close second and cybercrime third. In fact, cybercrimes have jumped from 2% to 22% of all outages.
  • When outages happen, they last longer. In 2016, the average duration of an unplanned outage was 130 minutes (9% greater than three years earlier).
  • The costs are higher too. Costs rose 5% to an average of $946,788.
  • Your current plan might not be enough. Only 30% of organisations say they have a disaster recovery plan. Of that 30%, 33% found that their plans were inadequate in the face of a real disaster.

You ought to know your limits. 

At the end of the day, there is no silver bullet for disaster recovery. Each disaster recovery plan will be unique like each organisation is unique. Some large organisations might be able to weather a few days without a negative impact. Meanwhile a bootstrapped startup might fold after an hour of downtime.

Your organisation will have its own business continuity needs. This will inform how you formulate your plan to minimize damages.

The ultimate key to a successful disaster recovery plan is redundancy. Basically, you want backups for your backups.

Choosing a third-party provider to offer you disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) comes with redundancy built in. These providers will have their own disaster recovery plans in place. And since DRaaS is their bread and butter, they’re experts at it.

No matter what route you choose, it is important for every single organisation to have a disaster recovery plan in place. If a disaster strikes, your plan will be invaluable. It could save your entire business.

If you’re ready to start your journey to a safer tomorrow, contact us today.